The Sundance Film Festival began its annual parade of indies yesterday, with many films already earning buzz. Let's take a brief look at 10 of those films, many of which happen to be about the joys and dangers of religion.
Quirk goddess Miranda July makes her first film since her oddball beaut You and Me and Everyone We Know, this one about a couple brought together by a cat, who narrates the film.
Rita Wilson, Alicia Silverstone, Blair Underwood, Freddie Highmore, and Emma Roberts, among others, feature in this coming-of-age type movie about a high school slacker who meets the girl of his dreams and learns life lessons and whatnot.
A star-bedecked cast (Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, et al) graces this comedy/thriller about a born-again former hippie who has to go on the lam after Christian fundies at his mega-church decide he's not as holy as they are.
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Mysterious third Olsen sister Elizabeth Olsen stars in this drama about a young woman trying to rebuild her life after fleeing a nasty cult. Sarah Paulson plays her sister, while Hugh Dancy and Brady Corbet play the men in their lives.
A third movie about the perils of religion and stuff, this one a thriller starring Charlie Hunnam and Patrick Wilson, and about an atheist's argument with a conservative Christian that devolves into violence. The topic is on everyone's minds these days it seems! Liv Tyler is in this too.
Life in a Day
Directors Kevin MacDonald and Ridley Scott hatched this wacky idea back in early 2010. Basically people from all over the world made their own movies about what they were doing on July 24th, 2010 and sent them in to Scott and MacDonald. The movie will be broadcast live on YouTube on January 27th.
A fourth movie about religion! This one is a horror movie from Kevin Smith about a group of people coming face to face with extreme fundamentalism in the Midwest. The Smith factor is strange, but the brief teaser trailer is pretty effective.
OK, I'm beginning to sense a theme here. Vera Farmiga stars in and directs this drama about a woman who gives 20 years of her life to a fundamentalist sect and then, one day, decides to leave. What is it about the past few years that got fundamentalism on everyone's mind? I just don't know what it could be!
Documentarian Andrew Rossi spent a year in the trenches of the New York Times media reporting department ("media desk" in the inside lingo, I suppose) and ended up with this documentary. Should be thrilling for media nerds everywhere.
Kevin Spacey leads a group of relative youngsters (Penn Badgley, Zachary Quinto) through the morass of the 2008 meltdown. This investment banking drama also features Demi Moore, the wonderful Mary McDonnell, and the always welcome Stanley Tucci.